Brendan Fraser. Pic/Wikimedia Commons
Unrecognisable was an adjective that many used for Brendan Fraser in his latest role for Darren Aronofsky's The Whale. For an actor who was touted as the definition of stardom in the 90s' decade, the adjective might feel surreal. Yet, after a decade of struggle and emotional upheaval, Fraser has marked his return to the limelight in dramatic fashion.
Known for his genial charm and comic timing, the actor also hides within him a subtle performer with a flair for intense drama. To celebrate his comeback to the A-list, we look back at five underrated Brendan Fraser performances that have slipped through the cracks.
School Ties (1992)
This might well have read as the 1990s stars to watch for compilation. Alongside Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris O'Donell, Fraser led the complete 90s' upcoming star list in a school drama about a Jewish senior battling friendship, emotional trauma and discrimination. It earned him notice among the critics for his easy presence and dramatic impact.
It is not easy to hold your own alongside two comedy greats, Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. Fraser did that and more as the lead of a loser rock band that hijacks a radio station to play their songs. While Sandler walked away with the plaudits, Fraser caught the eye of the studios for his looks and comic timing.
Gods and Monsters (1998)
The actor has always had a penchant for the dramatic and stealing limelight from the heavies. This underrated cult film on the fictionalised life of filmmaker James Whale starred some heavyweights in Ian Mckellan and Lynn Redgrave. Fraser received critical acclaim for his first major dramatic performance in a film that won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Quiet American (2002)
In this adaptation of Graham Greene's eponymous novel, the actor took on the talents of Sir Michael Caine as a young American trapped in a love triangle. In the midst of his action career, the film was a daring departure and showed his leading man abilities.
Arguably the film of the year, this multiple-Academy award winner saw Fraser play Rick Cabot, a district attorney battling racial tensions in Los Angeles while planning his reelection. While the film's Academy run and other performances overshadowed him, the role is another one on Fraser's list of underrated performances.